Israel Protests Palestinian Airport Violations

(Communicated by the Foreign Ministry Spokesman)
28 December 1998

The Foreign Ministry has registered a sharp protest and warning with Palestinian Authority officials over the violation of the agreement governing the operation of the Dahaniya airport near Rafiah — following yesterday’s incident, in which Palestinian security personnel prevented the Israeli inspection team from examining an Egyptian executive jet which landed at the airport carrying Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat, his entourage and additional passengers.

The protest emphasized that Israel cannot accept the landing of aircraft at Dahaniya if the Palestinian Authority does not permit the full security examination, as set forth in the agreement concerning the operation of the airport.

A clarification of the incident has demonstrated that the Israeli team was not permitted to conduct an examination of the aircraft’s cargo, or of the travel documents in the possession of the passengers and the crew accompanying Chairman Arafat’s small entourage. In addition, the Israeli team was not permitted to either identify or examine the crew on board the aircraft prior to its departure. All these events constitute a flagrant violation of articles in the agreement which determine that the Israeli team is to conduct a security examination of cargo and to identify passengers.